: How do I drain ALL the coolant?



CadillacLuke24
08-11-12, 08:27 PM
When I was replacing my coolant level sensor (and the whole surge tank, inherently), I was only able get about a gallon and a half of the old garbage out. I drained it through the petcock, and I did forget to remove the surge tank cap until about halfway through. Seeing as I had to get down to school today (this occured yesterday), I just filled the system to full and figured I'd mess with it later. Since the manual states the system capacity to be 3 1/8 gallons, I know I didn't get all of the old stuff out. To remedy this situation, what woud be the best route? Lower radiator hose?

Ranger
08-11-12, 09:24 PM
Turn the car upside down and shake vigorously.



Seriously, you will never get it all out. The plug you pulled is the lowest point in the system (look where the lower radiator hose is). The only thing you can do to get a bit more out is to stick a shop vac hose nozzle in the surge tank and seal it with your hand or a rag and reverse the flow to blow out a little more. Don't expect a lot though.

rodnok01
08-11-12, 10:19 PM
I did the shop vac deal and got about 1/2 gallon more out. When I did it alot of crap came out that didn't from just a drain. I also used a few gallons of water to flush it out, I poured a gallon in the upper rad hose and was surprised how the sudden volume cleaned the rad out.

vincentm
08-11-12, 11:07 PM
You can try removing the water crossover lol!

Ranger
08-12-12, 11:35 AM
I did the shop vac deal and got about 1/2 gallon more out. When I did it alot of crap came out that didn't from just a drain. I also used a few gallons of water to flush it out, I poured a gallon in the upper rad hose and was surprised how the sudden volume cleaned the rad out.
Sealant tab residue.

CadillacLuke24
08-12-12, 02:54 PM
Thanks guys. I guess in that case I will go round up a shop vac. I think I'll remove the lower rad hose too.

ternstes
08-12-12, 08:00 PM
Just thinking out loud here, but couldn't you remove the thermostat (or let the car warm up to temperature), remove the upper rad hose from the radiator and extend it into a bucket, and let the water pump expel all the old coolant from the engine? Of course, you would have to keep adding fresh coolant to the surge tank, but you would eventually get all the old stuff out, right?

Ranger
08-12-12, 09:02 PM
No, the WP will suck air before long. The radiator drain is the lowest part in the system. You'll get the most coolant out by draining it from there.

bigtone
08-15-12, 06:43 PM
I don't get all of it out, but what I do to get more of it out is to remove the purge line from the resevoir after it has been draining for awhile. Then I run a line from my air compressor (at only around 5 or 6 psi) and push air into the purge line hose, then right into the resevoir. I did this when I was replacing all the heater hoses on the firewall, and I avoided the usual mess.

CadillacLuke24
08-19-12, 03:52 PM
Thanks for the tip bigtone. I will have to try that next time I change the coolant. What I ended up doing was as follows:

Remove the pressure cap.
Open the drain.
While coolant is draining, I turned the engine on and gently revved it. It never got past 170 degrees (Did this first thing before going and driving the car) The engine bay was cool enough to where I could get my bearsized paws down there and shut the drain.
Refill system with new coolant.
FROM FSM-Replacing surge cap, turn heater to highest setting and start engine. Cycle engine to 3000 rpm and back to idle 5 times. Check coolant and add as needed.

Doing this, I got almost 2.5 gallons out, and the old stuff that came out looked cleaner, indicating that the new DexCool that was in there mixed well. I'm a happy camper :D

maeng9981
08-20-12, 04:16 AM
2.5 gallons sound as much as what you can get. I'd not worry about what stayed in it, it should be far less than the new stuff and should not effect the efficiency(new-ness?) of the new coolant.

CadillacLuke24
08-20-12, 11:38 PM
Thank you :D That confirms my happiness on my repair. I LOVE FIXING MY CAR ON MY OWN!!! :excited:

MRneatfreak-
08-21-12, 07:54 AM
You can try removing the water crossover lol!

:histeric:

PTMech
08-21-12, 03:08 PM
I flushed mine:
Remove the cap from the purge tank and open the radiator drain cock to drain the system; close the drain cock and replace the purge tank cap
Remove the thermostat and reinstall the bell housing and hose
Remove the upper radiator hose from the inlet side of the radiator and place into a suitable bucket for antifreeze reclamation
Place the end of a garden hose into the radiator inlet and run water until all the antifreeze is flushed from the system and water from the upper radiator hose runs clear
Remove the garden hose and reattach the upper radiator hose to the radiator inlet
Remove the cap from the purge tank and open the radiator drain cock to drain the system; close the drain cock
Reinstall the thermostat
Fill the system through the purge tank with undiluted DexCool. Purge the system per GM guidelines (between the clean water that’s remaining in the system and the undiluted DexCool, the mixture should end up close to 50/50)

tateos
08-28-12, 08:03 PM
You can try removing the water crossover lol!

That got me to LOL!

codewize
08-28-12, 10:50 PM
6 qt is spot on for a drain and refill. You wont' get it all out. If you're concerned about it that much, drain and refill again in 3 or 4 months.

CadillacLuke24
08-29-12, 12:19 PM
I'm not too terribly concerned. I look at it like this: I was able to get most of it exchanged, and what I didn't get out is mixed quite nicely with newer stuff due to my old attempt. It will get me to the next change plenty fine :D

Tom's Caddy
09-07-12, 05:17 PM
When I take mine to the Cadillac dealer and they charge me $130.00 dollars are they getting it all out, what is diffrent that they do, I've never watched or asked my bad.:duck:

http://i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj621/tomscaddy/741dbecf.jpg

CadillacLuke24
09-07-12, 09:24 PM
They're humans, so I'd imagine the answer is a resounding NO. I will do a write up of how I did it. If you get to it while the car is cold, it's not a big project at all.

Ranger
09-07-12, 11:55 PM
When I take mine to the Cadillac dealer and they charge me $130.00 dollars are they getting it all out, what is diffrent that they do, I've never watched or asked my bad.:duck:

The dealer MAY use a machine to do a "fluid exchange". IF they do, they pump new fluid in and old fluid out. Theoretically, that should replace all the fluid, but the fluid can take more than one route when being pumped into the system so exactly how effective it is I could not say.

Tom's Caddy
09-08-12, 11:47 AM
Thank you Ranger. I think you are right about a machine. I will call the dealer to confirm. I called and they said they always use a rad flush machine which works on vacuum, they say it gets 99% of the fluid.

Submariner409
09-08-12, 02:44 PM
Google "automotive coolant vacuum flush machine".

Most dealers use a version of the QuickDraw.

codewize
09-08-12, 11:17 PM
I'm not interested. I think it's safer just to drain and refill. Any forcing of anything in an engine prone to gasket failure can't possibly help anything.

Same with the transmission on these. Never ever have a flush done. Just drain and refill, replace the filter.